Program Goals and Objectives
Coursework and field experiences within the Programs in School Psychology are designed to assist the student in developing the appropriate knowledge and skills to meet the following program objectives. These objectives reflect Colorado State Licensure regulations for School Psychologists as well as the 2010 NASP Standards for Graduate Preparation of School Psychologists.
- Academic, Social and Life Skill Development
- Multitiered System-Level Services
- Data-Based Decision Making
- Collaboration and Consultation
- Individual Diversity in Development and Learning
- Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice
The UNC School Psychology program provides students with a solid understanding of
the psychological and educational principles underlying the field of school psychology.
These principles include, but are not limited to human learning and development, both
typical and atypical, as well as human diversity. School Psychology students apply
this foundational knowledge to problems of learning and behavior through appropriate
decision-making, competent intervention planning and implementation, and effective
communication and consultation.
(CDE 11.06(2); NASP Standard IV, 4.1 and 4.2)
1.A: Demonstrate knowledge of biological, developmental, cultural, and social influences on learning, behavior, life skills, and mental health.
1.B: Use assessment results to develop appropriate academic recommendations that address student learning, social, and behavioral goals.
1.C: Facilitate the implementation of appropriate and evidence-based interventions to help students meet their learning, social, and behavioral goals.
1.D: Use assessment, progress monitoring, and other data collection methods to evaluate services that support skill development in the areas of academic, behavioral, and social-emotional development.
The UNC School Psychology program prepares students to use a systemic perspective
to view children’s development and to understand the contexts in which this development
occurs. The UNC School Psychology program prepares skilled interventionists who have
knowledge about various academic, behavioral, social, and emotional intervention strategies
that are associated with positive outcomes, as well as skills in implementing these
different interventions. In order to do so effectively, School Psychology students
must have knowledge of relevant research and be able to translate this knowledge into
practice by adapting interventions to meet the needs of the client and the system.
(CDE 11.06(4), 11.06(6), 11.06(7); NASP Standard V, 5.1and 5.2)
2.A: Contribute to a positive school climate by implementing classroom- or school-wide prevention programming that enhances a safe, supportive, and effective learning environment.
2.B: Identify risk and resiliency factors in students and their environments and use this information in adapting and implementing prevention and intervention strategies to meet unique student and system needs.
2.C: Demonstrate knowledge of a number of evidence-based prevention and intervention programs that can be implemented across individual, group, classroom, or school settings.
2.D: Provide effective direct student-level interventions such as individual or group counseling.
2.E: Implement, monitor, and evaluate the effectiveness of both direct and system-wide interventions.
The UNC School Psychology program prepares students to use multiple sources of data to facilitate the best decision-making, regardless of whether it involves an individual child or an entire program. School Psychology students competently conduct psychological assessments that are relevant to student problems and use their findings for decision-making and program planning. Data are also gathered to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and to continually improve one’s practice.
(CDE 11.06(3); NASP Standards II and VIII, 8.1)
3.A: Select, administer, and score appropriate instruments (norm-referenced and curriculum-based) based on presenting concern(s).
3.B: Integrate school records, observations, interviews, and developmental history into
interpretation of assessment results, recommendations, and program planning efforts.
3.C: Organize and conduct functional behavioral assessments.
3.D: Interpret, integrate, and communicate information in an oral or written manner that is clear, accurate, and concise.
3.E: Monitor and evaluate student progress and program outcomes by using appropriate research design, including single subject.
3.F: Demonstrate skills in evaluating and applying research to service delivery selection and implementation.
The UNC School Psychology program emphasizes the importance of consultation that occurs
within a collaborative framework as a critical skill for indirect service delivery.
School psychology students have knowledge of various consultation and collaboration
methods and their application to individuals, families, groups, and systems. Problem-solving
processes permeate all aspects of service design, implementation, and evaluation.
(CDE 11.06(8); NASP Standards III and VI)
4.A: Demonstrate effective communication skills with school personnel, families, and students.
4.B: Demonstrate knowledge of different models and levels of consultation and participate at individual, group, and system levels.
4.C: Participate actively in collaborative problem-solving processes.
4.D: Integrate principles and research related to family systems, strengths, needs, and culture as related to assessment and intervention planning.
4.E: Promote family and community involvement through communication, consultation, and/or resource sharing.
4.F: Evaluate the effectiveness of consultation efforts.
The UNC School Psychology program focuses on helping students to understand and adopt
responsive practices as related to diversity and individual differences. School psychology
students have knowledge of individual differences, abilities, disabilities, and other
diverse characteristics of students, families, and schools. With this understanding,
they act as advocates for children and families and advance the ideals of social justice
within the school setting.
(CDE 11.06(5); NASP Standard VII)
5.A: Understand principles and research related to diversity factors for students, families, schools, and communities.
5.B: Use culturally responsive approaches with diverse students and their families.
5.C: Develop and implement evidence-based academic and behavioral interventions that reflect knowledge and understanding of a student’s culture, language, and individual learning characteristics.
5.D: Integrate principles of advocacy and social justice into service delivery.
The UNC School Psychology program is built upon a foundation of legal, ethical, and
professional practice. School psychology students are able to apply ethical, professional,
and legal standards to guide their work. They also have knowledge of information sources
and technology relevant to the practice of school psychology.
(CDE 11.06(9); NASP Standard VIII, 8.2)
6.A: Demonstrate knowledge of the history and foundations of school psychology.
6.B: Apply professional work characteristics needed for effective practice as school psychologists
6.C: Practice in accordance with ethical, legal, and professional standards.
6.D: Use technology to enhance communication, collaboration, and service delivery.
6.E: Demonstrate a commitment to life-long learning through on-going professional development.
Coursework and field experiences within the doctoral program in School Psychology are designed to assist students in developing the appropriate knowledge and skills to meet the profession-wide competencies shown below. Evaluation of students throughout the program ensures that upon graduation, students have attained these competencies.
The aim of this doctoral program is to develop health service providers in the practice area of school psychology who are able to apply psychological and educational principles to improve the psychosocial environments of children (ages birth-21) and their families.
Profession-Wide Competencies and Elements
- Ethical and Legal Standards
- Individual & Cultural Diversity
- Professional Values and Attitudes
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills
- Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills
- Element 1: Student demonstrates the ability to conduct research and engage in other
- Element 2: Student demonstrates the ability to use knowledge of research and statistics to critique research.
- Element 3: Student evaluates and disseminates research through publication/presentation.
- Element 1: Student is knowledgeable about and acts in accordance with APA Ethical
Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct and NASP Principles for Professional
Ethics, as well as laws, regulations, rules and policies governing health service
psychology practice in school and community settings.
- Element 2: Student recognizes and responds to ethical dilemmas as they arise.
- Element 3: Student behaves ethically in all aspects of professional behavior and health service psychology practice.
- Element 1: Student can articulate an approach to addressing diversity in health service psychology practice that is based on knowledge of current literature and an analysis of how their own history, attitudes, and biases affect how they interact with others different from themselves.
- Element 2: Student integrates awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in health service psychology practice and uses an informed approach to working effectively with diverse groups.
- Element 1: Student behaves in ways that reflect values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others.
- Element 2: Student engages in self-reflection regarding personal and professional functioning and in activities to maintain and improve performance, well being and professional effectiveness.
- Element 3: Student actively seeks and demonstrates openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.
- Element 1: Student develops and maintains effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, and those receiving professional services.
- Element 2: Student produces and comprehends oral, nonverbal, and written communications that are informative and well-integrated, and student demonstrates a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts.
- Element 3: Student demonstrates effective interpersonal skills and ability to manage difficult communication well.
- Element 1: Student selects and applies a wide range of empirically-based assessment methods, and student collects data appropriate to identified goals and questions of the assessment and relevant diversity characteristics of the client.
- Element 2: Student interprets assessment results, following current research and professional standards, to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations, while guarding against biases. Student distinguishes the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective.
- Element 3: Student communicates orally and in written documentation the findings and implications accurately and in a manner sensitive to a range of audiences.
- Element 4: Student uses assessment procedures to evaluate systems for the purposes of program planning and evaluation.
- Element 1: Student establishes and maintains effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services and others involved in service delivery (e.g., parents, site personnel).
- Element 2: Student develops interventions informed by the scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics and contextual variables.
- Element 3: Student skillfully uses a variety of intervention modalities appropriate to the situation.
- Element 4: Student evaluates intervention effectiveness and adapts interventions consistent with ongoing evaluation.
- Element 1: Student demonstrates knowledge of models of supervision for health service psychology practice.
- Element 2: Students demonstrates knowledge of supervision practices.
- Element 1: Student demonstrates knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other profession.
- Element 2: Student demonstrates knowledge of consultation models and practices.